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 Post subject: DWC raft alternative
PostPosted: Apr 18th, '14, 04:00 
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I know this questions been asked several times, but I haven't been able to find a good answer using the search feature. I'm setting up a DWC system and I can't find "Dow 2-in x 4-ft x 8-ft Extruded Polystyrene Insulated Sheets" to save my life. Does anyone know an alternative solution for rafts that's non-toxic? I saw a few threads talking about suspending plywood over the water using foam or PVC pipes capped to use as floaters, but this option sounds like it would be very heavy. Any suggestions or help will be appreciated! Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: DWC raft alternative
PostPosted: Apr 18th, '14, 04:47 
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The sheets I bought were from Home Depot. They were not "Dow" as I could not find that brand either. However, they did have "Extruded Polystyrene" just a different brand. It crossed my mind that there could be some difference but in the end I figured Extruded Polystyrene is Extruded Polystyrene whether its Dow or not...

Like I said I can't be certain here so others feel free to correct me.

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 Post subject: Re: DWC raft alternative
PostPosted: Apr 18th, '14, 09:50 
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I saw a video where the guy used those click together mats that you put down for kids to play on. Looks like they worked well


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 Post subject: Re: DWC raft alternative
PostPosted: Apr 18th, '14, 16:59 
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Search 'DWC' or 'raft' as topics as topic tittles only.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8346&hilit=raft

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 Post subject: Re: DWC raft alternative
PostPosted: Sep 1st, '16, 18:00 
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I've set this up as an experiment, it should be ez enough to understand from the pics (despite the poor quality).

The netting is sewn together under the GB, there are bubblers in the water underneath and the piping delivers water directly to each plant. The tom seedlings have been in for about one week and are doing well, keeping up with those in the FD bed.

I might change this set up so that there's not so much water to the plants, because I'm worried about it being too wet.

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 Post subject: Re: DWC raft alternative
PostPosted: Sep 1st, '16, 23:18 
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will be interesting to see if you have issues or not.

Does the aeration replace any aeration that you would have needed elsewhere? That is, is the energy used a wash, or are you using extra energy?

Please make sure you post photos of pulling the roots out of the mesh at the end of the season. *grin*


I once went on a back room tour at Disney's Epcot where they were using "Aquaponics" to grow veggies. If I remember correctly, it was yellow squash. They had the plants on a conveyor of sorts and the roots (about 3 feet long) were suspended in the air. The conveyor moved the plants between two panels, about 18 inches apart, so keep the root shaded and preventing drying out. Eventually the plant moved through a watering area, I don't remember if it was sprayed or if they went for a dip, but it sufficed to rewet the roots. My thoughts at the time were that it was overkill in energy and engineering, and more of a "futuristic ride" than a practical solution. I have used aerated water in propagation units, If I remember correctly we had cuttings of arborvitae in bubbling tubes and it did in crease the success rate. Not sure if it would have been just as successful to root them in a sand bed.


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 Post subject: Re: DWC raft alternative
PostPosted: Sep 2nd, '16, 12:18 
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Previously the GB was either constant flow or F&D. Now it's constant flow with 4w aerator.

So it's 4w of extra energy. But soon I will be trialing this on a DWC and the aerator will be the only input. This worked well previously with bioponics, but I had foam rafts.

Pulling the roots out isn't to bad. Overall it's cheaper, easier and more sustainable than the rafts.

Just need to see how it works. Next will be trying to remove the air stone and make it completely passive. Should work with the right plants.

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 Post subject: Re: DWC raft alternative
PostPosted: Sep 2nd, '16, 13:38 
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I saw a few threads talking about suspending plywood over the water using foam or PVC pipes capped to use as floaters, but this option sounds like it would be very heavy. Any suggestions or help will be appreciated! Thanks

If you want to suspend then the thicker corflute products and the dualcell/multicell/multiwall roofing work fine and sit over a tub without support. You need 12mm plus and for corflute 16mm is better. I scored with some surplus white multi-cell roof sheets and they work a treat. Easy to cut with hole saw and support baskets.

if you search there are setups where corflute is used with a PVC tube under it for flotation (see below)

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=25663
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=25040

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